Saturday, March 30, 2013

Winter Commission 5: Tonight!

Here's a peek at the piece I made for winter commission. Come out tonight from 7-midnight at MAKE.SHIFT gallery to put it on your lap and check out the amazing art created this winter.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

winter commission 5:time

photo by Cameron Jennings
Yes, it is spring, but before the tulips make you ridiculously filled with joy, let's take a moment to acknowledge winter. Winter is hard. bleak. isolating. Yet every year we make art. And then we come together and say "Oh yeah, I like you, we are not alone."

Winter Commision 5:TIME is this saturday night, March 30, at make.shift gallery. I made a small quilt in february. For 28 days I sat down and made stitches in a piece of cloth. It is nothing fancy but it is practical and it got me through. It is a study in starting projects that seem like they will take forever. It is about moving forward despite imperfections. It is about taking the time to learn something old, to do something slowly and to record the days though they blend together like so many tiny white stitches on a yellow background.

Come out and say hello. find all the details here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

easter craft video

greener grass from Libby Chenault on Vimeo.
Watch the video for simple easter craft inspiration. Then read the variations for extended play ideas with any easter grass or customized shredded paper. Think about how your own child likes to play and I'm sure you will find even more ways explore this simple idea together, adding texture to your existing toy collection. And when you tire of the grass around your home, you have my permission to just throw it away in the recycle bin.

for anyone who likes giving remarkable gifts

  • use it as packing material

for the very young:

  • take it in and out of a box, bag or bowl
  • throw it in the air
  • scrunch and crinkle to make noise see what it sound like inside an empty container

for imaginative play

  • cut white paper to be snow drifts
  • green paper for grassy hillsides where animals burrow
  • blue paper can be water
  • play cook with noodles nests 
  • fill a box with the shredded paper and small treasures (bones?) for some archeological digging

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

3 ways plastic eggs help you keep easter fun while avoiding a total sugar melt down

Let's face it, even if you only celebrate equinox on your commune with other nature loving families, eventually your child will be exposed to the joy of plastic and candy. Holidays can be tough as we navigate our own desires and values and the changing world while blocking out the whining and pleading of our tiny loved ones. Somewhere between cycnicism and guilt there is a sweet spot where traditional holidays can be fun. Really fun. Please don't worry about being crafty or green or healthy or wealthy or conscious enough. Take a deep breath and remember some simple  childhood magic.

Sometimes I just love what I remember from my childhood, even if it wasn't that spectacular. Or what I wanted as a kid. 

I always wanted these eggs. And today I bought a dozen of them for less than a dollar and I will reuse them every year. I promise.

So take a moment to check in with yourself and your kids ages and the influence of friends, neighbors, pinterest and cousins and grandparents. Think about what is actually important for you to do as you welcome spring and what you can relax about.

Here are are three ways that plastic eggs can help you influence your child's easter experience while still being fun. Bright! PLastic! Eggs!

  • Fill them with a non sugary snack item. Cheddar bunnies are a favorite around here and make an obvious choice for easter. Nuts and berries, dehydrated fruit, frozen peas, whatever your kid likes
  •  Buy candy in bulk and fill eggs appropriately for your child's age and sugar handling capabilities. These jelly beans happen to be from Trader Joe's and are dyed with beets and tumeric and other natural dyestuffs.
  •  Fill eggs with non food items. Tiny toys, even ones from your existing toy pile, make a fun surprise at the end of a hunt. Other ideas include writing out jokes or fortunes, moth and squirrel pins, stickers or good old fashioned coins.
Stay tuned for more spring celebrations. And REMEMBER the Bellingham Farmer's MArket is THIS SATURDAY MARCH 16, 10am-3pm. I have bunnies and chickens and sheep and flowers to fill your baskets with remarkable recycled goodies.

Monday, March 11, 2013

mixing business and pleasure in edison

This weekend we took a quick little family adventure in the first warming sun of almost spring. We drove the gorgeous curves of Chuckanut drive, stopping for a picnic on our way to restock my favorite store. The Lucky Dumpster in Edison is now flush with a fresh batch of hats, pins, stuffed animals and vests. (If you can find your way to edison, you really don't need any other address.)
We browsed the amazing collection of handmade objects, banged on Jessie's drum set in the painting studio, and clowned around in the sun. Working with old friends, the super talented James Reisen and Jessica Bonin, makes doing business a true pleasure.
Franklin always comes home with a fist full of vintage plastic from the treasure chest.We have a whole drawer at home called the Lucky Dumpster Drawer because it is so full of muppet babies and sesame street figurines and a whole fisher price circus train.
Steeb picked up a sewn nudie piece by the lovely Jessica Bonin that Frank and I are recreating here.(click her name to find the original art.wink, wink, nudge nudge.)

Edison's magic attracts art lovers, tulip peepers, birders, foodies and bikers along with the people who actually live and work in the Skagit Valley. The Lucky D is open friday, saturday and sunday 12-4pm until they decide to be open 11-5pm with the warmer weather.

What treasures have you found in edison?

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

bunny video

bunny's helper from Libby Chenault on Vimeo.

Deep gratitude to James Krause who inspired this short video in so many ways. He commissioned a bunny suit from me years ago. (I am wearing the prototype hood in this clip.)And then he not only shot amazing photographs of gorgeous humans in the suit, but also recorded a whole promo video in it. His videos and photography are so much more professional than mine, because, you know, that's actually his job.

Monday, March 04, 2013

custom love

I wanted to brighten up everybody's monday with this custom toucan I made last month. It was super fun to create a stuffie for one of my favorite customers as commissioned by his girlfriend.

Friday, March 01, 2013

TONIGHT! 6-10pm, 1318 Bay Street

Can you believe it is already March? Spring is just around the corner and I have a bouquet of hair flowers to help you get in the mood. This month I have been designing a new cotton hat style, which means the $5 bin has some fresh experiments in it.... Hope to see you tonight.